Saturday, February 9, 2013

Volleyball Grew Wings

I've been trying to get out  a little more this year by doing some of the things I enjoy. It haven't been able to play much this season, but I have managed to get out a few times.

Volleyball can be a tough sport for Migraineurs especially if it is indoors or even outdoors and the lights or sun are right above for us to enjoy every time we look up - which is almost every play. I've been trying to track volleyball and its effects on my Migraines. So far, the two don't seem to be getting along very well even though I wear a hat and try to take other preventative measures when I do play.

The last time I did get out was a little different; a new experience. As I was playing, sometimes the ball grew wings and had the effect of looking like it was being jet propelled to the other side of the court. OK, not quite the wings that 'normal' people would envision, but the aura kind that were on either side of the ball and trailed away as the ball kept flying.

Is it bad to say that I thought it was really cool looking?  Of course it wasn't so neat afterwards, but this is where I still get kind of confused or maybe perturbed is a better word of how I feel.

Will I ever be able to play the sports I have always enjoyed doing?  I know I should probably stop something's, but the stubborn side of me doesn't want to give Migraine another win.

I am tired of Migraine taking all of these bits and pieces of normalcy. I need to get away from the humdrum of Migraineur living. I need to get out, be with my friends and enjoy the little things life has to offer while getting a little bit of exercise.

What have you found that you can do where the beast will not follow you?  Have you been able to keep the Migraine away during and/or after an activity that it usually shows up for?  What are your secrets?  Are you stubborn too, where you don't want Migraine to take another part of your life away?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Still Trying Biofeedback for Migraines

After everything I went through with the first person I saw for biofeedback, I don’t think many people would have blamed me if I never went back again to try to learn these techniques.

I last left off where my biofeedback person blew up at me three times during my last visit and I honestly didn’t intentionally push his buttons, but I also had had enough and finally called him on things he was saying.

He would claim he could cure Migraines. I let him know there was no cure for Migraines; that it is a genetic neurological disease with triggers that can start a Migraine occurrence. Next he was upset that I had a higher Migraine earlier in the day and he would rather I come into his office with a raging Migraine so he could cure me. He also really lost his cool as he accused me of understating my Migraine intensity levels and got very serious as he was telling me that maybe my wires were really crossed and that I probably could pass a lie detector test.

As far as understating my Migraines, I feel I am consistent for me from one Migraine to another as far as I record them. I also told him that I don’t understand how someone could drive to his office with an intense Migraine going on and how I’ve seen many people claim to have a level 10 Migraine while playing around on the internet. It’s downright dangerous to drive with a rampant Migraine! He was also very serious when he agreed that I might be an anomaly and that maybe my wires really were crossed because I would warm while in sympathetic (fight) mode.

I really didn’t want to give up on biofeedback because of this one incompetent therapist. It took me a while, but I had finally found somebody else to try. It was difficult to find her as every place I called said that they either no longer did biofeedback or that they had too long of a waiting list. One of these former biofeedbackist, gave me the name of someone who was trying to return to practice after a long hiatus due to a bad injury she sustained.

I had talked to this therapist on the phone a few times and she really seemed like she was going to be good. Since she was out of practice for a while, we also negotiated a rate that was about a third of what she said she normally charged.

Do you believe in “it’s a small world”?

As we were talking during our first session, she asked questions around my first experience with biofeedback. It started off simply and she thought this therapist did not do a lot of things correctly. Although the two of them were over thirty miles apart and in opposite directions from my house, it turns out she taught him how to do biofeedback, she certified him and they used to travel together to different conventions! You can only imagine how I felt after hearing that bombshell!

I started getting very uncomfortable with her as she was making comments about him. In one way I was relieved that he was the problem with our sessions, but I also felt funny about things she said. It made me question the confidentiality of our sessions. She went on to say that she knew he was having financial and personal issues and had hoped he was getting better. She continued that he had really been very promising in the field when he started and she continued to commiserate about him.

Personally, I felt if she would say these things about my prior therapist to me and about an old friend of hers at that, I wasn’t sure what kind of confidentiality I could expect; not that I wasn’t going to say anything that mattered, but I was going to be very guarded from that point on. I just wanted to learn biofeedback techniques, is that too much to ask?

She said she was a Migraineur too and had just gone through a very painful accident and was trying to get back on her professional feet. During some of our sessions, she would use very outdated terms and gave me some type of a headache test that had about seventy-five questions on it. She was going to tell me the type of headaches I experience.

It didn’t go very well as when I got to a question I told her I didn’t experience those symptoms, but I knew it was going to be linked to TMJ which I have. She got a little combative and insisted on how I know I have TMJ as she now suffers from severe TMJ due to her accident. Again, I swear I didn’t do anything to provoke this engagement.

She really was a nice lady; just out of practice for too long. I felt bad as she even bought updated software to use for our sessions and often commented on how she was either practicing on herself or a friend before I got there. I almost feel like an elitist when I found she bumbled around too much for my comfort and even literally crossed her sensor wires during some tests.

These sessions were supposed to continue after my first round of Botox. I never made another appointment with her as I felt I was not going to get my monies worth out of her either.

I will tell you about my third therapist next time, but during the first session with biofeedback therapist number three, I let her know straight up that she was my last chance. If she could not help me learn biofeedback techniques, I was not going to pursue it any longer even though I felt there could be some value after learning it. I was also very candid about Migraines not having a cure and intentionally put her through the ringer a little bit with my questioning. How do you think these sessions faired?

I really don’t think biofeedback should be as stressful as I had experienced. Have you had unreasonable or unusual biofeedback sessions? My last double session with therapist three is tomorrow…